Thousands of pupils from across Scotland will be returning to the classroom this week for the first time since March.

Schools across the country are set to reopen their doors full-time from August 11, with some local authorities opting for blended method until August 18.

It comes as a recent survey suggests almost half of teachers do not think it is safe for pupils to return.

The NASUWT union questioned 780 teachers ahead of schools reopening this week.

The survey found teachers are anxious about going back to work and have not been given enough information or time to prepare.

A total of 45% of those questioned do not think it will be safe for pupils to return, with 42% uncertain.

But what should parents and pupils know ahead of the returnt to the classroom?

Here's seven key points:

Social distancing: 

There should be no requirement for physical distancing between pupils of any age/

However where possible, secondary school pupils should physically distance where possible - being asked to refrain from close contact including hugs and high-fives.

Pupils should not sit face-to-face at shared desks. 

Adults/teahcers will be expected to stay 2m from pupils/other adults wherever possible.

Face coverings:

PPE will not be needed in most schools, unless required by a risk assessment.

Pupils will not be required to wear a face covering, but anyone wishing to do so should be allowed to.

Where staff cannot maintain a 2m distance and are interacting face-to-face for a sustained period of around 15 minutes or more, a face covering should be worn.

A changed day:

Some schools and local authorities may opt for staggered start and end times to allow for less crowding as parents drop of and collect their children. Your local authority should contact you regarding this.

Likewise, lunch hours and class times may be staggered to allow for less crowding in corridors and canteens.

Assemblies will also be cancelled, with PE classes only taking place outdoors.

School transport:

Dedicated school transport should be treated as an extension of the school estate - meaning enhanced cleaning of vehicles, and the inclusion of hand sanitising before boarding.

Distancing between pupils on dedicated school transport is not required – but adults should remain one-metre apart from others.

Pupils on school transport do not need to wear face coverings, but adults should.

Anyone travelling to school on public transport must follow the public transport guidance on face coverings and distancing.

Glasgow Times: Pupils will not need to distance on school busesPupils will not need to distance on school buses


A “rigorous” approach to environment cleaning must be implemented to prevent the virus from spreading, according to the Scottish Government.

This means pupils may not be allowed to bring in as many belongings as before. 

Enhanced hygiene measures must be practiced, including:

  • Extra time for pupils and staff to clean their hands with soap and warm running water or sanisiser when: they arrive at school, return from breaks, change rooms and before and after eating.
  • Provision of adequate hand-washing or sanitising facilities throughout the school estate.
  • Arrangements to support young children and those with complex needs who may need assistance. 

Glasgow Times:

Coronavirus testing:

The Scottish Government says arrangements are in place to monitor developments and allow for a “rapid response” to any cases of the virus.

They say this includes “enhanced surveillance arrangements, test and protect and outbreak management”.

Contingency plans:

In the event of a national or local outbreak, schools may need to introduce their plans for blended learning or close temporarily to help control transmission. 

Full details can be found on the Scottish Government website here.